Some electrical power problems in Russia and Kazakhstan
text: Aybat Zharikbaev , exclusively for Gazeta.kz
Not more than a year ago the Russian government took a decision on reforming the electrical power complex of the country. Today, despite the problems and difficulties, changes in this sectoin of Russian economics are developing. Actually, there is a necessity of the reform, not only in Russia, but also in Kazakhstan. The development of the market economics requires a creation of the appropriate opportunities for the normal functioning of the electrical power complex, which suggests, first of all, a division of the companies of this area into types of activities and an introduction of competition on the wholesale market of electric power.
The establishment and development of Russian and Kazakhstani electrical power systems took place within the Soviet energy program, but this fact does not cancel the existence of the specific peculiarities in both of them, which is reflected in the specifics of the reforms.
Thus, according to the Russian program of reforms, in order to provide a free competition on the wholesale market of electrical power, a Federal network company (FNK) was established, which will unite the backbone transmission networks of RJSC "EES" and JSC-Energo, in a unitary national network. As it is suggested that the FNK will not have its own generating facilities, the actual problem of choice of an electrical power producer will be cancelled. Moreover, because the FNK will become a monopoly, the rates for the network services will be defined by the state.
Currently the FNK is registered as a 100% branch of the RJSC. Later the network assets of the RJSC will be transferred to it and after its liquidation in 2004, the structure of the FNK capital will correspond with the capital structure of the RJSC "EES" (which will provide the interests of the minority shareholders). After that, it is supposed that the FNK will get the backbone networks, currently possessed by the JSC-Energo, which will be divided between several companies maintaining the capital structure of JSC-Energo, and later will join the mentioned federal company. Even so, the state share will increase.
In Kazakhstan, as it is well-known, the situation differs. In the republic during a number of years there is a national company managing the electric power networks, ОJSC "KEGOC", with 100% state participation. In the property complex of KEGOC there are 110 to 1150 kWt electric transmission lines and supporting sub-stations, providing the currents between countries, power transmission from the power station of common use, connection between electric networks companies and big consumers, establishing the national electric network, as well as the central supervision. It must be noted that the spread of the electric networks of common usage in the republic is the following: 1.4 thousand km - with 1150 kWt voltage, 5.5 thousand km - with 500 kWt voltage, more than 20.2 thousand km - with 220 kWt voltage, around 44.5 thousand km - with 110 kWt, more than 62 thousand km - with 35 kWt, about 204 thousand km - with 6-10 kWt.
In Russia the necessity for establishment of the competitive market of electric energy is dictated, first of all, by a demand in an uninterested national mediator with such companies available as RJSC "EES", JSC-Energo, "Rosenergoatom", "Tatenergo", "Bashkirenergo", "Irkutskenergo" etc.
In Kazakhstan, with a functioning state network company, the issue of the establishment of the large generating enerprises is still pending. Of course, the current market of electrical power in the country is mostly regulated by the state. Therefore the problem of the establishment of such enterprises must be solved at the government level. In relation with this, the proposal of Ministry of energy and mineral resources about the establishment of a national energy company on the basis of the largest electric power stations of the republic, made in spring, has to be perceived as being up to the point. It is suggested that the national generating company will be created on the basis of Zhambyl hydroelectric power station, Shardarin and Kapchagai power stations, as well as the cascade of hydroelectric stations on Irtysh river.
Obviously, the establishment of a national company for the production of electric energy will enable to stimulate the development of industry in the depressed regions and will increase the security and the energy independence of Kazakhstan. The latter is especially important in the relations with the Central Asian neighbours.
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in the beginning of April signed an agreement on the utilisation of water and energy resources of Naryn-Syrdarinsky cascade in 2002 and first quarter of 2003. The agreement provides the volumes of electric energy and water supply from Toktagul reservoir by Kyrgyzstan and energy resources supply to this country by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
In accordance with the agreement, Kazakhstan has to receive around 700 million cubic meters of water into Dostyk channel, providing the cotton producing Mahtaaral district in South Kazakhstan with irrigation.
In order to resolve the irrigation problems the states of the region conclude multilateral agreements annually, because they have common water basins and channels. However, Kazakhstan becomes more dependent on the water from the other countries of the region, as the irrigation water comes into the republic in the last turn.
One of examples of this dependence - Kazakhstan is forced to buy the energy from Toktagul power station in Kyrgyz republic, while in the opposite case this country does not agree to provide water from the neighbouring reservoir.
Despite the fact that for Kazakhstan it is enough to get 650 million kWt p.h. from Kyrgyzstan per season, the republic is forced to buy 1.1 billion kWt p.h. of the expensive electric power, which is hard to distribute further (in particular, the managing subjects refuse to buy this energy).
Possibly, with the establishment of the national generating company, the position of Kazakhstan in relation to the import of Kyrgyz electric energy and access to the irrigation water resources will improve. In the first place - through a decrease of purchasing prices of the imported energy, which will be conditioned by the availability of Kazakhstani electric energy on the domestic and foreign markets.
Besides, according to the information from the ministry of energy, in order to provide the stable power supply for the Southern regions of Kazakhstan it is planned to restore the functioning small hydroelectric power stations and to build the new ones, also at the expense of investors funds. Currently the second power transmission line "North-South" has been completed with 500 kWt voltage and 1163 km of the general extension. The construction of this power transmission line will allow to increase its carrying capacity by 3 billion kWt p.h., providing the power supply for the Southern regions of the republic from the Northern power stations, and to eliminate South Kazakhstani dependence on the electric power import from the countries of Central Asia.
Today in Kazakhstan the established capacities in energy make 18142 MWt in total. In 2001 in the country 55.2 billion kWt of electric power p.h. were produced, which is 3.8 billion kWt p.h. (or 7,3%) more than in 2000. The consumption of the electric energy in the last year was 56.7 billion kWt p.h. (4.2% growth). The electrical power import in the last year was 3.6 billion kWt per hour (20.2% growth). The electrical power import growth occurred at the expense of the transfer from RF by 37% (680 million kWt p.h.) with the constant volume of import from Central Asia (1.1 billion p.h.).
Returning to the problem of electrical power reforming. As it was mentioned above, in Russia the process of Federal network comany establishment had started. However, the availability of an uninterested mediator (FNK) was not enough to create a competitive electric energy market. On the initiative of "Rosenergoatom" concern, supported by a number of companies, a decision was taken on the creation of a trading system administrator - market infrastructure for the administration of trade. This organisation must substitute the current Centre of agreements and payroll. Currently, all the bargains on the Russian electric power market are made through this centre controlled by RJSC "EES", which often creates a basis for abuses. According to the statute of TSA, the administrator's target is the provision of equal conditions for all market subjects, promotion of the established rules of trade and protection of the consumers interests.
According to the information from Russian sources, currently the TSA is in the organising process (officially it was established in the end of the last year).
Of course, talking about a free electrical power market in Russia is pointless. The first electrical power sales through the TSA are planned for the end of this summer (5-15% from the total volume of generating). Such insignificant volume can be explained by the parallel market through CAP, during the transition period (until 2004).
It is known that in Kazakhstan they took a different path.
Within the project of modernisation of the national electric network, undertaken by KEGOC, during 2001-2005 it is planned to invest $257 million into the company electric networks renewal, at the expense of borrowed funds - $185 million, at the expense of "KEGOC"'s own funds - $72 million.
According to the above mentioned project, not only the equipment at the small sub-stations has to be renewed, but also an automated system of electric power registration on the satellite basis on-line will be created.
Moreover, as a result of the project's realisation, before the end of the current year the information technology and the legal base were created for further competitiveness on the wholesale electrical power market of Kazakhstan and stock exchange sales of this commodity.
Development of the stock exchange sales of electric power in Kazakhstan undoubtedly represents the most preferrable variant of an infrastructure for the trade organising, as, apart from the rest, it resolves an important problem of the equal representation of the power producers and consumers. This problem is acute in Russia, where the consumers are extremely opposed to the possibility that the power market becomes a producers market imposing the rules of the game.
Reforming the electrical power complex suggests, of course, the fulfillment of other important tasks, directly or indirectly influencing the process. These are - the legal base provision, the investments problems, the development and the condition of the generating companies, the situation in heating and power complex in general etc. These are the issues requiring a separate and detailed analysis.
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